You’ve probably heard the news from the Governor of California. He has issued an order to close businesses and places of worship again. The County of San Diego has a right to not adhere to this order as San Diego has proven week after week to be one of the safest counties in the United States. However, it appears our County is deciding to follow the Governor’s order.
I want you to know that we take this very seriously as we take into consideration all factors in conjunction with public health. There are various aspects to public health. There is of course the one that has been focused on since March, the medical side of public health. However, there is also the emotional, economical, psychological, and spiritual health among others that MUST be considered when talking about public health. There is never to be a ONE SIZE FITS ALL program. What has been happening is an all out focus on one aspect of public health to the detriment of the other aspects of public health.
While we understand the pressures our governmental leaders are under to stop the spread, we must not lose sight of the other health issues that have resulted from the various shut downs and quarantines. Indeed, the intended cure has become a massive public health problem itself.
While we must continue to protect the most vulnerable in our society, we have proven we can do that. As we have helped those who are most vulnerable throughout this pandemic, it is now time to help those who are most vulnerable economically, spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. I believe this is a both/and proposition, not an either/or. We can continue to protect the most vulnerable while opening our businesses, communities and churches.
At Skyline Church, our goal is to strike a balance between the reality of a virus like Covid existing and the reality of the need for people to have the freedom to worship in church. We have followed all the guidelines and even gone above and beyond to make sure we are safe when we have had services. When many churches and businesses were ordered closed back in March, we knew very well our right to meet and indeed our 1st Amendment right of freedom to express our religion, but, we decided to follow our government’s recommendations to not gather, even when we had the right to.
As restrictions were loosened we began to gather as permitted by our government. While we recognize the separation of church and state, we were being honoring of our governmental officials as required in Romans 13. While Romans 13 helps guide our consciousness during an uncertain time, we also are to be guided by Acts 5 where Peter and the other apostles were reprimanded by the government for disobeying their governmental officials and stated very clearly, “We are to obey God, rather than human beings.”
So, this is the importance of understanding context. There are times when we most certainly should obey our governmental leaders. But, there are times when (as God leads the spiritual leaders of the church) we must pause and listen more closely for the voice of God in the midst of uncertain times. I have no doubt that Peter and the Apostles did that and came to the conclusion they came to.
Therefore, after the Governor gave his update yesterday, we met as an Executive Team, then we met as a staff at Skyline, then we met as a Board at Skyline and I met with leaders of other churches and it is with much prayer and lots of hours of meetings that our leadership team at Skyline Church has decided that WE WILL REMAIN OPEN AS A CHURCH this weekend.
We have gone above and beyond to make sure we have a safe and clean environment and we will continue to be safe and clean. This is the same for your kiddos. We will remain open for your kids. We are not the only ones remaining open this weekend, there is a tremendous unity among churches in San Diego and while some will close and some remain open, each church has its own good reasons for its particular decision.
I want to emphasize, if you have any concerns about this please stay home. I also want to emphasize, if you’re feeling any symptoms please stay home. Watch our online services which are the same services as we have in person. We believe those who have concerns will stay home and take part in church online and those who feel they need to be at church for their own spiritual health and well-being will be here. We trust YOU and your FREEDOM to decide what is best for you and your family.
We also believe we are contributing positively to the public health, especially the spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical health side by being out of the house and worshipping our Lord.
Please RSVP this week at skylinechurch.org. We will also have the outside venue available under the umbrellas but it would probably be a good idea to bring your own chairs. Even going farther than that, you can stay in your car and tune your radio to 89.3 FM to take part in the service that way.
This is such an interesting time folks, but we know and have seen that God is moving and working in the midst of all that is going on. We LOVE you, we are praying for you, and we will see you SUNDAY!